Freegans attacked by vegans over frozen meat

Posted on March 25, 2010

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*Originally published in The Hackney Post

A vegan café has thrown out its management after they were discovered storing packs of meat in its freezers.

Pogo Café, in Clapton, is run as a cooperative and staffed by volunteers, but earlier this month the vegans forced out their “freegan” co-workers, who they accused of “not being vegan enough to run a vegan café”.

“Freegans” (people who find free food in bins) in the Clarence Road café’s management team had salvaged the meat after freeers at a nearby supermarket broke down and large quantities of food were thrown away.

The café managers and other activists, who live in nearby squats, stored the food at the café, though they say it was labelled as “not for café use”.

At an emergency meeting of the cooperative and volunteers, the freegans complained that the management of the café was “impenetrable” and “cliquey”.

One vegan even alleged that the team were being paid by the government to infiltrate vegan spaces and plant meat.

The former management team said in a statement that they felt their hard work to keep Pogo open for the last couple of years has been entirely ignored.

“The implication that only vegans who are practicing animal rights activism should be allowed to run the café is exclusive and alienating”.

The team said that they were unhappy about leaving, but had been left with no other option.

“The café was very important to us, and leaving it is going to take a massive chunk out of our lives.”

On Tuesday the café’s new management released a revised mission statement:

“Pogo is a completely vegan café for the community. The open collective works to promote a philosophy of animal liberation and respect for the environment through delicious vegan food.”

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